All About Nina Flowers

kbs_94321LOCA! This queen may have looked fierce every time she stepped out onto the runway but as we soon discovered, she has a heart of gold. The only queen from Season 1 not to have been in the bottom two lip syncing for her life and the first to ever enjoy a legendary tic-tac lunch with Mama Ru (in my eyes, the true winner of the first season of the best show in the world). Prepare yourself for the fabulousness that is Miss Nina Flowers!

Nina Flowers provided us with so many incredible moments in Season 1 – from nailing the carwash photoshoot and winning the very first challenge, to vogueing it out on the runway and (rightfully) winning Miss Congeniality later on in the season. Aside from being an absolute sweetheart that the other queens could only ever say good things about, Nina’s sense of humour was top notch. Instead of crumbling when things went a little wonky, Nina knew how to laugh at herself. For example, during the teleprompter challenge, Nina ever so sweetly read out “This is your name, good night”… instantly cracking up as she realised what she had said. Another stellar example of her vibrant sense of humour was during the mini challenge with the female fighters in the makeover episode. After straddling the punchbag and showing it who was boss, doing a move that they called the “ground and pound”, Nina shouted “Don’t talk back to my face bitch!” at the punchbag. I’m in stitches every time I see that scene!

kbs_9596-x3-427x640During the MAC Viva Glam episode, Nina revealed that recording the message would be a challenge as she thinks in Spanish and sometimes doesn’t know how to translate some words. In my opinion, she had nothing to worry about – she looked fierce and got the message across perfectly. What I also thought was really lovely and showed off her beautiful character, was that as she left the set she thanked the two models (later to be known as the Pit Crew), which the other queens did not. In the voiceover, as she pummelled the runway in her iconic feathered cuffs, she said “If I like what I see, it doesn’t matter what anybody else has to say… because I feel good about myself ”. This should be the mantra in everyone’s life!

One of my favourite episodes was the Absolut Vodka one where Nina transformed herself into Miss Mango. Having to prepare three looks that week (swimsuit, executive realness and an eleganza evening gown), Ru asked Nina during the walkthrough who she’d be drawing inspiration from for her executive realness look. “I’m basing the executive woman in the image of my mom… She was not only my mom, she was my best friend. She always encouraged me to go for the things I wanted in life”.

nina-flowers2Nina may have dedicated herself to the art of female impersonation for over 20 years, but she is also an incredibly talented DJ. You can tell Nina has rhythm flowing through her veins after she nailed the choreography for RuPaul’s music video, Cover Girl. During the iconic lunch with Ru, she told Nina “You’re a legendary queen and I cannot tell you how happy I am to have you here”.

I’m overjoyed to reveal that I had the pleasure and privilege to interview Miss Nina… something I feel deeply honoured to have done. Read on for her fabulous answers!

Chloe: What made you audition for RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Nina: I had recently moved to Denver, Colorado, and I was still looking for work, so it was an opportunity considering my schedule was flexible. A friend of mine from Puerto Rico told me about an online competition for Drag Queens to appear on a reality TV show. Drag performers on TV – never heard of it, so I was happy to fill out a profile.

Chloe: If you were to be cast in Season 9, who would you play in Snatch Game and why?Nina: Cyndi Lauper, she has always been one of my biggest inspirations. In fact, she was my #1 choice for All Stars, but at the very last minute I changed everything. I really thought it would be interesting to bring some of my Latin culture into the show, plus I wanted to challenge myself, so chose La Lupe.

f32e0d21e2bd2a6a73ced1785fb8706bChloe: Who or what inspires Nina’s incredible style?
Nina: I’m a child of the 80s. While my name was inspired by one of my all time favourite punk rocker artists, Nina Hagen, she has also inspired many of my looks. I’m also inspired by artists such as Boy George, Cyndi Lauper and Annie Lennox, to name a few.

Chloe: What’s your favourite song at the moment?
Nina: I’m very particular about my music…kind of like my drag. I don’t listen to radio that much. I like stuff that is very progressive and raw. My favourite at the moment is Isaac Escalante & Xavier Santos feat Alan T – Like A Man (Original Mix).  It’s super hot!!

Chloe: If you were to get stuck in a lift (elevator), which celebrity would you want to be in there with (past or present) and why?
Nina: In a situation like that I would want to be stranded with someone incredibly funny so that they would make me forget I’m stuck in an elevator. I would love to go through that with the mother of punk rock, and as I mentioned previously my #1 of all times, Nina Hagen. She is hysterical and the bitch can sing! So I’m sure she’d be making jokes and singing in that elevator…lol

Chloe: If you could have any magical power, what would it be and why?
Nina: Make everyone smile. Things are so different when people smile at you. A smile makes everything feel right, makes everyone feel like they belong. A smile is so powerful – it can wash away all your insecurities. Smiling is priceless.

i8fbqyeChloe: Have you visited the UK before and if so, what’s your favourite thing about it?
Nina: Yes, I visited about two years ago. I loved it – the people, the architecture, the culture… everything. I had the pleasure of performing at West 5 Bar, in London; The Village Inn in Birmingham, and Cheerz in Aberdeen. Now I look forward to visiting again, but this time for my music.

I just want to say a huge thank you to Nina for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer my questions – it will forever be appreciated. I hope to see you perform and/or DJ one day, whether that be here in London or over in the U.S. Stay fiercely fabulous!

Check out Nina’s off the chart soundcloud at www.soundcloud.com/nina-flowers and her incredible website. Also be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too!

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All About Tammie Brown

Next up in my series of favourite RuPaul’s Drag Race contestants is Ms Tammie Brown… with an i e!

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This quirky queen’s entrance (or should I say exit) during the first episode certainly made an impression after she left the main stage up the red velvet stairs at the back of the runway. With the panel of judges in fits of giggles, Ru is heard softly saying “Oh, that’s my entrance and exit Tammie”. From then on, you knew this queen was a character. Tammie is known for her catchy phrases and words. One of my favourites was when she called Ru “tootsie-pop” in the second episode! Sadly, we didn’t get to hear as many of these epic Tammie-ism’s as we all wanted, after she sashayed away that very same episode. What was so sweet though, was to see Jade’s reaction when Tammie had decided she wouldn’t be participating fully in her lip sync – Jade looked gutted. It just showed that Tammie is as sweet and genuine as she had come across. They looked like they’d become genuinely good friends in the short amount of time they’d spent together. One thing that still makes me chuckle to this very day, regardless of how many times I’ve seen it, was when Tammie was defending herself as a lady in the Reunited episode. She said “look under my skirt and it’ll stick you in the eye though” (even as I type, I’m laughing!).

I’m ever so excited to announce that I got the chance to interview Ms Brown, who kindly answered my quick fire questions…

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Chloe: What made you audition for RuPaul’s Drag Race?
Tammie: Everyone in southern California was auditioning and so was I…

Chloe: What is your favourite memory of being on the show?
Tammie: Walking into the work room and seeing all the girls.

Chloe: Who would you want to get stuck in a lift with (past or present)?
Tammie: Nina Flowers or Kelly Mantle.

Chloe: If you could have any magical power, what would it be?
Tammie: To fix the environment – you know, the ocean, nature… we must help our mother, planet Earth.

Chloe: Have you visited the UK before?
Tammie: Yes, I have been to England, Ireland and Scotland. My favourite thing about the UK is a Sunday roast – I just can’t get enough…

Born in Texas, Tammie grew up in Mexico, which is why she is often heard spicing things up with Spanish words and phrases from time to time. As she entered the world of drag, Tammie had wanted to be known as Tootsie Turner, as she loves Tina Turner and her favourite film is Tootsie, an Oscar-winning film released in 1982 about an unsuccessful actor (played by Dustin Hoffman) who dresses as a woman in order to land a part in a soap drama. Since appearing on Drag Race, Tammie has used her exposure and worldwide fame to stand up for the good that needs to be done in the world. Using the hashtags #QueenWithACause and #FreeOrcas, Tammie frequently gets involved in a variety of campaigns that all work towards protecting the planet and the animals that live on it.

13743363_181040575644635_1097592916_nWhen Tammie appeared on Hey Qween! with Lady Red Couture and Jonny McGovern, Lady Red only had lovely things to say about her. Revealing that she “is always full of good advice and great energy”, it prompted Jonny to ask what the best piece of advice she had gotten from Tammie was. Lady Red replied, “She told me bitch, mind your business and keep your coin to yourself.” She then went on to end the show by saying that Tammie is “just such a special spirit. It’s hard to find people that you can laugh, eat and enjoy all at the same time”.

Check out Tammie’s amazing website as well as her Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date with what’s happening on Planet Tammie.

Sink or swim

#337: Tell us about a time when you were left on your own, to fend for yourself in an overwhelming situation — on the job, at home, at school. What was the outcome?

Well, I’ll let my fellow bloggers decide whether it was a successful outcome…

For a little back story, it all began back in 2012 on my Iceland press trip (in celebration of the Ice Age 4 DVD release), where I was sent alone to represent the magazine among other publications and broadcasters from across the globe. I was also the guinea pig, the first person to do a filmed interview and a piece to camera, and without any training or practice I should add! The next filming opportunity that I was given, took place earlier this year, where I interviewed an animatronic Nigel the cockatoo from Rio 2 (Jemaine Clement was voicing him from another room) – as I’m sure everyone will agree, a most peculiar experience.

Thus bringing me to my latest project (as you can see above) – heading to Norway to celebrate the release of How To Train Your Dragon 2 on Blu-Ray and DVD. This was entirely my project; I prepared the scripts, presented and interviewed, as well as produced and edited each and every clip! It’s made me realise that this is what I want to do as a full-time career – even though it’s only my third project of this nature.

Check out my other clips below and let me know what you think!

To boldly go…

#330: An impending new year gives rise to reflection and goal setting. What will your goals for 2015 be? It’s never to early to start thinking about self improvement!

masterclass cloe drawing photo Kjersti Veel Krauss

Good question! Last year, one of my resolutions was to complete WordPress’ 365 Days of Writing Prompts challenge, which I think (minus the odd missed days – thanks Norway press trip!) I’ve managed to achieve.

Since I love self improvement, I’ll no doubt set a quite few various resolutions. Amongst them will probably be – to travel abroad at least twice (I’ve never had two holidays in one year); to finally move into London (it’s been a dream ever since I started working in central back in 2012); to progress in my career – whether it be in magazines/publishing, video editing/presenting/producing or even PR; to take part in more video interview/junkets and video projects; and no doubt to learn something new – whether it be mastering photography, finally learning British Sign Language through official tuition or even taking classes on a particular video editing software… I just love being a sponge!

Image of myself with Head of Character Animation for How To Train Your Dragon 2, Simon Otto: Kjersti Veel Krauss

I have confidence in me

#327: Are you good at what you do? What would you like to be better at?

Yes, I believe I am the best at what I do! I’ve managed to teach myself so many things in order to complete my job, as I haven’t received any official training, thus needing to educate myself. For example, I’ve never been taught how to edit video junkets (or just video footage in general), but I had to teach myself how to do it – especially for my most recent Norway/How To train Your Dragon 2 project!

Check out my cool junket interview with the Head of Character Animation for this amazing film, Simon Otto!

Doing this project has made me realise just how much I want to become a full time Video Editor – if possible with both Producer and Presenter responsibilities, as I absolutely love it! And so if anyone has any tips for me on how I can make this dream into a reality, please do get in touch!

Love to love you

#320: What do you love most about yourself? What do you love most about your favorite person? Are the two connected?

Love is such a strong word… Does anyone really ‘love’ something about themselves?! When I really think about it however, I guess the thing I most like is my ability to hold myself in every situation I am in. Whether it’s at a networking event, an event in which I am representing the magazine by myself, taking office phone calls or even in any of the junkets I’ve done. I’ve always been told that I come across extremely well (albeit slightly posh!).

To now be asked about my favourite person is a bit tough – my family are my favourite people and I couldn’t possibly decide. So, what I most love about these people are that they are always there for me and never fail to cheer me up.

Is there a link… I would have to say yes. I know people say it all the time, but these people really have made me who I am today. My confidence and desire to succeed in this world stems from these guys – I will only ever want to make them proud of me.

FAQ

#319: Interview someone — a friend, another blogger, your mother, the postman — and write a post based on their responses.

Since I’ve left it so late to interview someone, I’ll have to fabricate this ever so slightly (based on today’s events). My interviewee’s are my family and after showing them the How To Train Your Dragon 2/Norway video projects I’ve been working on all week, I asked for their thoughts.

The general consensus was that I’d shown huge improvement from the two junkets I completed in my two and a half year career with the magazine, which was lovely to hear. I was told that I should be really proud considering I wrote, produced, presented and edited the entire thing – and I haven’t even had any training in this field!

About page for the future

#313: Write the About page for your blog in 10 years.

Hi everyone!

My name is Chloe and I travel the globe as a professional junket interviewer! Every day brings something different, as you’d expect from such an air mile increasing lifestyle! I also continue to freelance for both Souper Media and DJAW Designs as I have done over the past decade. I wanted to share my many adventures and general shenanigans with my fellow bloggers, who have shown such great support and encouragement towards me for so many years!

I hope you enjoy my work and please do feel free to leave comments, as I love constructive feedback!

You can still find me here: –

LinkedIn

My digital portfolio

Twitter

Pinterest

A bend in time

#270: When you’re giddy with excitement, does time speed up? Slow down? Tell us about the experience of anticipation.

I can’t say that this happens often, but the only times I can recall feeling giddy is in the few moments before going into a junket interview, working on the red carpet at the NTAs or a similar event. It’s weird because in those few minutes before these things happen, I panic (internally of course). My palms get sweaty, I get a dry mouth, my legs jitter up and down, and time generally tends to just freeze. That’s my nervous stage. But as soon as I am in that moment, in that chair, I somehow switch persona and exude confidence. That’s when the time rushes by – all the hours spent preparing, disappears in (what feels like) the blink of an eye. And then comes the adrenaline rush of ‘did that really just happen?!’… I honesty can’t deny it, I really love that feeling of being thrown into those situations – I somehow seem to thrive!

FYI this still counts as my 27th September post as I started writing it at 11:55pm hehe.

Naked, with black socks

#261: Are you comfortable in front of people, or does the idea of public speaking make you want to hide in the bathroom? Why?

I’ve always hated giving presentations… ever since sixth form. Just the thought of having to be the only person standing in front of a large number of people, being the sole focus for a certain length of time, I get clammy palms! Saying that, I am still willing to give anything a go… since uni I have successfully completed two on camera junket interviews and a singular on camera piece, with just myself in the shot talking to camera. So my confidence has definitely grown and now I’m addicted to a good challenge!

For anyone who read my post, ‘You can’t escape’… I truly couldn’t escape. Yesterday the cold finally got me – I’ve managed to avoid it for two weeks but what with it being at work and at home, it’s really no surprise that it got me. So, shamefully I missed yesterday’s post (I’m not going to count it as a fail… extenuating circumstances and all that!) – but here it is…

The cat says meow

#260: Write a story about yourself from the perspective of an object, thing, animal or another person.

I’ve chosen my cousins dog, who joins us on pretty much every family occasion since he is part of the family! Channelling…

Oooo, people! Must count everyone… 4, 8, 12, 17… yep, we’re all here! Right, who’s making the biggest fuss of me… Ahh Chloe! You’re so warm… that’s it, right behind the ear! Hmm… I wonder if anyone has anything to eat! Nanny usually has something for me… I’ll go to her instead.